|We traveled 750 miles today across the rest of Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, into the corner of Georgia, and to Tennessee. What a long exciting day!!!
In Missouri, we stopped in Wentzville, MO for gas and this guy in a Toyota truck pulls in at the pump ahead of ours within an inch of our bumper – seriously, I exaggerate not on this one. The funny thing isn’t that he pulled that close to us – the funny thing is that there were 12 other pumps open on 6 other islands available and he pulled up within an inch of the only car getting gas. I guess people are friendlier in Missouri.
We passed through St. Louis and got a look at the Arch (we went up in that chain lift thing inside a couple of years ago – now I only gaze and appreciate it from afar). Then, we crossed the bridge across the mighty Mississippi – this is one of my favorite bridges – I love how the long cables look like sails on a sailboat.
After crossing into Illinois, we headed for Metropolis for a quick visit. Gene used to work there for the Daily Planet!!! And, just across the river was Paducah, where we completed the US 68 Yard Sale one year.
Gene had never been to Nashville and he wanted to look around a little bit. Well, he stuck there for an hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-24 East. While we were stuck there, I amused myself by counting the number of cars in the HOV lane with one single passenger – 54 cars passed us with one person only. I guess this law is just for fun in Tennessee or there isn’t a stiff penalty or any enforcement. Not only did I count 54 cars with just one person – there was not one car with a passenger!!! Hysterical! On the bright side, Gene got to look around Nashville for an hour (from inside the car!).
Then, the day got wonderful. The drive from Nashville to Chattanooga was breathtaking. The lakes, the mountains, and clouds made it magical. I loved seeing the “SEE ROCK CITY” signs – I remember them from childhood when my father brought us here on vacation. And, when we found our hotel – the Country Inn and Suites in Chattanooga, it was sitting nestled in the mountains and the management had graciously upgraded us to the Executive Suite – it is basically an apartment with an eat-in kitchen, separate bedroom and living room, an office area and large master bath. Then, we asked for a restaurant recommendation for some barbeque and the desk clerk sent us to HILLBILLY WILLY’S. Our dinner was SO DELICIOUS we almost considered staying here and eating lunch and dinner tomorrow. We had rack of ribs, barbecued beef brisket, fried okra, sweet potato, cucumber salad, baked beans, and sweet tea. Even though we were stuffed, we had to try the Hillbilly Pie which tastes a little like pecan pie, but they use oatmeal instead of pecans and serve it with homemade ice cream. Now, we are too full to sleep.
Update on State License Plate Game – we are up to 37 states and the song of the day was: Happy Birthday, Darling by Conway Twitty. We could only get country on the radio and wasn’t I surprised when Gene belted out Happy Birthday, Darling – I have never even heard that song. Lesson here – you really don’t know someone until you have been with them in the car for 20 hours straight!!!
TOMORROW is the day we have been waiting for!!! SHOPPING DAY!!! Tomorrow we hope to have many treasures to show you.